Kickstarter – Rewards-Based Crowdfunding – Crowdfunding For Artists
If you’re looking for a Top Crowdfunding platform in the ‘creative arts’ niche, with all the experience and panache of New York City, you can’t do better than Kickstarter. Kickstarter has a great track record with creative artists, whether they deal in films or fashion, photography or performing arts, technology or theatre. (The hardware and project design categories count as interactive or useful art.) Contests and charity drives can be handled on other sites.
As the acknowledged leader of the rewards based crowdfunding site world, Kickstarter needs to be impressed. Applications are reviewed within a matter of days, and those without symmetry in their structure get moved to the bottom of the pile, so the project should show pizzazz and flair, though 75% of projects do make the grade.
Since Kickstarter’s inception in 2009, nearly $900 million has been raised for over 50,000 projects, on an “All-or-Nothing” basis. The joy of gathering crowdfunding, rather than searching for corporate sponsors, is that the artist gets to keep 100% of the creative rights. It works on the same principle as e-book publishing versus traditional publishing – whoever does the work gets the credit and royalty rights.
Once the goal is reached, the project’s backers will be charged their contribution amount by Amazon Payments, along with the credit card processing fee (3% – 5%). (Currently, there isn’t an ability to pay via PayPal.) If the goal isn’t reached, no charge will be made to the backer’s credit card, which is comforting. Backers should know that once the charge goes through, even if the promised reward is delayed or never comes, Kickstarter won’t refund the contribution amount; that’s up to the project creator.
Some of the things that creators should consider, when beginning a crowdfunding project, include timing and resources. Kickstarter’s tips for success include adding a video, which move the average project success rate from 30% to 50%. Also, most projects have between 30 to 60 days to get full funding, though Kickstarter recommends keeping projects to a month-long minimum. The shortened time frame creates the sense of urgency necessary for boosting success rates.
Of course, project creators should be aware that there’s a Kickstart fee involved for the help received (5% of the total raised), when and only when the project gets fully funded, along with the normal 3% credit card processing fee. Financial rules apply from the creator’s country of origin, so projects from the United Kingdom will have the VAT tax applied (20% of the fees), as well as the normal 3% processing fee for contributions over £10, or 5% for processing contributions under £10. Project creators from Australia, New Zealand, and Canada won’t be charged a VAT tax on the total amount raised, just the normal 5% Kickstarter fee, and the credit card processing fee from a third-party company. If the project is overfunded, the creator can use the money for additional improvements, or increase reward levels.
Kickstarter is an established Top crowdfunding platform, so half of its 69 employees do provide customer service by phone and by email. Most of the Project Specialists, who review applications, have managed their own campaigns. This gives them the necessary experience to weed through videos and reward tiers, and identifying the Staff Picks of projects that are especially compelling.